CBC Communications team caught up with Zahra Premji to learn more about her career and her life.
How did you get into journalism?
My life has been one whacky journey so far and some may say I don’t really like to stay put. But, I think the thing is, I’m an explorer and I’m always on the search for a new story and a new community to explore. With that being said, I spent a year in Melbourne, Australia when I was studying, then I started my career at home on the radio at CKNW in Vancouver, moved over to CTV Vancouver Island, hopped on to Global Winnipeg, then CBC Vancouver, and now here I am. Each city gave me a new challenge, whether it was finding new friends, searching for new stories, or looking for the best spin studio.
This search is all a part of why I got in to journalism in the first place. Since I was five, I knew I wanted to be a storyteller and give the voiceless a platform to share their tales.
Zahra Premji is the host of CBC ALBERTA NEWS LATE NIGHT on weekends and also reports for CBC Edmonton. Raised in Vancouver by a family that moved to Canada from Kenya, travelling has always been in her DNA. She’s a storyteller in search of a tale to tell, and has been since the age of five. She does what she does because of her desire to give those without a voice a platform to share their stories. It was while travelling to Kenya, where her parents were born, that she realized there are more stories to be told than we see right before us. This lead her on the path of travelling to different parts of Canada to report and work in new cities and newsrooms to learn about different parts of her home country.
Zahra reported nationally on the asylum seekers entering Canada from the US while working for Global Winnipeg. She’s worked as a reporter and Video Journalist at CTV Vancouver Island, a reporter for CKNW Radio, Global Winnipeg and CBC Vancouver.
She has taken pride in working in all of those places and being able to tell stories from within various communities, including the Syrian refugees, homeless camps around all of the cities, and flooding across Manitoba. And yes, she’s live reported in -40C when necessary thanks to her love of winter and lack of love for the sunny hot days.
She has a love for snow, a not so secret obsession with spin classes, music, and an addiction to travelling. Her family and her Ismaili, Muslim background ground her and keep her sane. While she may seem like an extrovert, she secretly loves her solo time hiding behind a good book. She has lived in Australia, backpacked through India, Thailand and alone through Europe. Zahra is always in search of the next big adventure and book and she’s always open to suggestions.